We originally decided against attending the Stanford Graduate Student Formal. Our previous graduate student experience had taught us that these types of events were not well attended and generally made you feel a little sad about being in such a large space with so few people to enjoy it. But a few days before the formal, an opportunity to volunteer and attend for free came up. So we decided to go for it. After all, our friends were going, so at least we’d have good dancing buddies. And the event promised appetizers, so, in true grad student mode, free food + no admission cost = attendance.
The event was unlike anything we had expected. There were fancy chartered buses to take us to and from the art deco Fox Theater in Redwood City, heavy appetizers, dessert, and free drinks (although the lines stayed long all night). And the place was PACKED. Like, nearly no room on or off the dance floor, packed. And on top of that, people were actually dressed up! I had expected maybe, maybe as nice as wedding attire, but many had gone all the way to full-out gowns. It’s an event not to be missed for the graduate community. We’ll be looking for that volunteer opportunity again next year, though, because that’s totally the way to go!